A group calling itself FIAR (FORCE IMPARTIALE POUR L’AVENIR DU RWANDA – FIAR) has been established in DR Congo region where another Rwandan rebel force was nearly decimated.
The leaders of the new group are not individuals with identifiable history, unlike already existing rebel groups whose leaders were former military and political officials in Rwanda.
FAIR, as the new force is calling itself, issued a news release on Facebook and is also picked by blogs of Rwandan exiles. The group says it is based in Kalehe territory of South Kivu province in DRC.
Kalehe was location for months of operations late last year by the Congolese military against the national liberation forces or FLN, the armed wing of CNRD led by ex-prime minister Faustin Twagiramungu based in Belgium, and ‘Hotel Rwanda’ Hollywood movie personality Paul Rusesabagina.
More than 300 FLN combatants surrendered, and along with up to 2,000 of their dependants, were repatriated. The combatants are currently undergoing reintegration training in northern Rwanda, while the families are in a transit camp in southwestern region awaiting reintegration back into the communities.
The birth of this new FIAR group, adds on to existing FDLR and P5 rebels. In the same South Kivu province, is where P5 operates since 2017, as has been detailed in UN group of experts reports. As for the FDLR, it has been around since 2000, whose members took part in the 1994 genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda.
It remains unclear if the FLN has been completely defeated. It has not issued any statements following the military operations and its field commanders captured. Instead, Twagiramungu has been speaking on foreign media and social media that FLN still exists.
There is also RUD Urunana, led by an academic based in New Jersey (USA) and Maj Faustin Ntilikina based in France, whose son plays in the NBA, the world’s premier basketball league. This RUD Urunana attacked Musanze district in October last year, killing 14 and injuring many others.
The new FIAR group claims to be coming to fight against ‘Ndi Umunyarwanda’ a government national reconciliation program. The rebels say it must be stopped.
The group also claims there is a sinister project led by former Defense Minister Gen James Kabarebe where young genocide survivors are being taught to hate other Rwandan youths born from exiled Rwandans.
Unlike other Rwandan rebels forces, the FIAR group’s inaugural statement released on Friday March 13, 2020, names leader as “Major Bamaso J. Bosco”. List has 7 names including two woman and five with military ranks.
Kalehe territory where the rebels claims to be based is home to Rwandan refugees who arrived there since 1950s. Same territory and others in South Kivu, and North Kivu have been theatres of war since 1996.
Apart from FDLR which regularly in past year has fired crude rockets in Rwanda, and FLN which attempted to operate from Nyungwe forest national park in southwestern region, killing several people and injuring many more, Rwandan rebel groups have not occupied any part of the country.
Rwanda’s invasion of DRC in 1996 ousted dictator Mubutu and has maintained a buffer zone along Rwanda’s border.
However, Rwanda is also battling geopolitical interests in the Kivus. Both Burundi and Uganda, are said to be managing Rwandan rebel forces from there. As a counter, Rwanda is also reported to be arming Burundian and Ugandan rebel forces. All this as Rwanda remains in near-state-of-war with both neighbors.